I had a very special date this weekend. A weekend long date with my very own Chaotic Monkey.
I always heard that having individual quality time with your kids is good to strengthen relationships, to be able to have a proper chat with each child, to really find if they have any fears, worries, concerns… The reality is that is not always possible. Life has a way of getting in the way and more often than not we find ourselves too busy to do anything extra or to make an effort to do anything special.
Our family has been working hard at making time to spend together – we are having loads of dates. Whether it is a family date where we all have lunch on the sitting room floor or get to have breakfast in our bed all together, or individual dates where one of us go for a walk or a hot chocolate with one of the kids. These dates are very special and the kids love them.
It is very hard to get information about anything out of my boys …. “How was school? Fine”, “What did you do in school? Stuff”. These are the responses I usually get. This together with the fact that we are always rushing from school to homework, to dinner, to swimming class, to karate, to playing, to cinema night… doesn’t leave us much time to have a normal conversation where different topics might come up. It is during these dates that you get more information about the teachers, classmates, what is cool now…
The boys really love having these dates. They enjoy having separate time with us, not having to share us which warms our hearts no end. We of course love the dates too. The quality time, being able to appreciate how the conversations evolve as they get older… We will always cherish that.
Last weekend Mr B took Big Monkey to the UK for his sister’s birthday and Chaotic Monkey and I went to Galway to visit some friends. Although he spent the weekend playing with kids, we stopped for lunch on the way there and on the way back, just the two of us. I now know a lot about his classmates and teachers, a lot about Ninjago and StarWars games, what he would like to learn to cook next, why he sometimes gets upset and what makes him smile. Very important information.
The two of them are already planning the next date. They are swapping parents. I think they might even be organizing a date for just Mr B and I, or maybe I am planting the seed for that one… we’ll see.
Do you go on special dates with your kids? Let us know!